The Five People Who’ll Beat Me Up In Heaven

lookingforjohnI hate to lob bad voodoo onto anything as great as going to heaven. But it occurs to me that if I ever do make it past the Pearly Gates, then sometime between St. Peter saying, “That little cloud with the silver lining is yours,” and all my fellow heavenites finally giving up on my ever learning how to play the harp, at least one of the following five people I’ll meet in heaven will try to beat me up.

Steven K. When Steven K. and I were kids, I accidentally beat him up by executing upon him a judo flip I’d never used before and was shocked to discover actually worked. Steve hit the ground like a sack of wet cement tossed off a truck—and before it had begun, our fight was over. Steve went on to become a Major General in the Air Force. I went on to become a guy who generally likes to force major air. I know Steve’s gonna beat me up when he meets me in heaven.

Bob’s dad. Bob was a friend of mine throughout middle and then high school. Bob’s dad had once been a professional football player. It was his heart’s desire that Bob, too, become a professional athlete. But Bob’s dream was to become a dancer on Broadway. Because my father was an actor, I was able to help Bob enter the world that would eventually lead him to becoming a dancer on Broadway. Bob’s dad always made it pretty clear that he hated me for helping his son become a professional dancer instead of a football player. I hope that when I meet Bob’s dad in heaven, he gives me a chance to explain myself before he beats me up.

Abraham Lincoln. In a blog post I once wrote called Pick-Up Lines of Famous Men in History, I said that Abe Lincoln’s main pick-up line was probably, “I know that when you gaze upon me, you see little else besides my gargantuan nose, ears, lips, chin, cheekbones, and eyebrows. And my weird Amish beard. And my stovepipe hat. And my mournful expression. And my ill-fitting clothes. And my mole that’s the size of a tobacco plug. You know what? Forget it.” So I figure that’s worth at least one Honest Abe smack-down.

Brian Q. When I was a kid my best friend Jerry had a brother, Brian, who was as mean as a bagged badger. So one day I tied a piece of wire to some trees on either side of a bike path, and then encouraged Jerry to taunt Brian in such a way as to ensure that (ever predictable) Brian would ride his bike full-speed across the wire. Talk about a perfect plan: five inches higher, and ol’ Brian would have lost his head. While he lay dazed and nearly unconscious on his back, I stood over Brian, and as menacingly as I could, said, “Stop pounding on Jerry all the time. Or fear riding your bike from now on. I’ve got lots of wire.” And it worked! Brian quit beating up Jerry. I’m pretty sure he’ll try to beat me up in heaven, though. Except, wait … harps have wires! So you know what? Never mind.

Master Han. Master Han used to be my Tae-Kwon-Do teacher. If MH really liked you, his way of saying hello was to basically start beating you up. Master Han really, really liked me. And I know he’ll make it into heaven. So I know that one day I’ll be happily floating around up there when, suddenly, I’ll get kicked in the spleen. It sure will be worth it, though, to see ol’ Master Han again.

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • trishothinks

    Ok…..you have too much time on your hands…..and a very active imagination. I don't think "beating up" others would be allowed in heaven. I think you can pretty much ease your mind about any of these people laying a hand on you.

    Oh the "bagged badger" thing………. is just too funny…..a great visual prop!

    Very funny stories though….thanks!

    Trisho

    http://trishothinks.wordpress.com/

  • jennifer

    If people can beat you up I'm sure that I can get my shots in to… Melody Z. I'm coming for you!

  • http://jerrisblog.blogspot.com Jerri Harrington

    This is awesome! I think there is an ex- nun who is going to beat me up! :)

  • http://friendlyfuneralista.wordpress.com friendlyfuneralista

    If and when I get to heaven, I better come up swinging … I'm sure there will be a line up of people wanting to put me in a "bicep bender"! Great post — lots of fun! Hope you'll visit my site too!

  • someguy

    erm you know theres no heaven or god and all religions are just for crazy people?!

  • Linda Chimienti

    erm, but there is a tongue and a cheek and a lot of wire…

  • http://fillingspaces.wordpress.com Digital Dame

    I love it, this is hysterical. Thanks for starting my day with a laugh. I loved the "bagged badger" thing, too.

  • http://living3dfaith.blogspot.com/ Tim

    @someguy—Thanks for setting me straight. What have I been doing for the last 30 years of my life? If I had only known…I could still be addicted to drugs, being angry and hateful toward minorities, thinking about doing all sorts of immoral things to young girls, and blindly taking the random advice of some anonymous guy.

    erm, but there IS a heaven and God as far as it stands with me. Religion and crazy are relative terms and need to be assessed on a case by case basis.

  • http://living3dfaith.blogspot.com/ Tim

    John, I loved this post. But I have to cop… I've been spending way too much time responding to people on your Bloggington Huff. How often will you be posting there?

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Thanks, very much, to those of you who've commented here. You guys have made my day.

    Tim: You've been commenting on my blog at HP? That's awesome; thank you. There've been so many comments on that thing I've kind of given up reading them, but … again, thanks. That's a big help to me.

    As for how often I'll be there, I just don't know. You submit to them; they okay it in a day or so, and publish it. From there it goes under my name, archive-wise; like, today they put the "Five People" post up, here:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-shore/

    But anything there just dies if they don't pull it out from there and stick it somewhere on their site, if you see what I mean. Like, with this piece: If they put it (what they call "feature") it on their Comedy or Religion page, then … people would naturally see it and comment on it, like they have with the gay wedding piece. If not—if it just sits on the "Posts by John Shore" page, then nothing will happen with it there.

    So you send them two, maybe three piece a week, and then just … see what happens. Make sense? I'll always put a notice on my blog or FB stuff whenever they select a piece of mine out, for sure.

  • http://impassionedplatypi.wordpress.com impassionedplatypi

    @Tim- Because it's totally just not possible at all to be a sober, kind person with values and morals and a mind of your own unless you believe in a religion… *eyeroll* You're being as much of a closed minded ass as someguy was. Just ignore stupid comments like his and maybe you won't end up writing more of your own.

    @John Shore- This is a funny post. I'm entertained. I really thought when I clicked the link from WordPress's freshly pressed page that this was going to be a list of violent historical figures that probably also made it to heaven. Was not expecting it to mostly be stories about people you knew in real life. I especially liked the way you got your friend's brother to stop picking on him, that was brilliant.

  • http://www.haloreachbeta.com Halo Reach

    Gotta get some training so you're ready for them ;)

  • http://jcalanayan.wordpress.com jcalanayan

    This was funny. Don't we all have a list such as this? Thanks for the laughs.

  • http://mystique772.wordpress.com mystique772

    Can I just say that the thought of fights in heaven is hilarious to me, as my mother oftentimes says that God will have to make separate heavens for all the divisions of Christianity and disharmony. I do like your take on it though and have never thought of such a list before, but now I am and thankfully so far I can't find anyone to put on it. Hope it stays that way. Nice post!

  • http://secondsit.wordpress.com secondsit

    hehhehe nice one!….. im gonna wait for that in heaven..

  • shauna86

    :)

  • http://www.myspace.com/whitenoisemetalpodcast Brian Shields

    I plan to give you a major beat-down in heaven… wonder which of us will be more surprised that I made it?

  • http://living3dfaith.blogspot.com/ Tim Arnold

    @impassionedplatypi—*eyeroll*I don't recall saying anywhere in my response to someguy, that the ONLY way to sobriety, kindness, and morality was through a relationship with God…it was what happened in my experience.

    Why couldn't you ignore my 'stupid comment'?

  • http://thoughtsappear.wordpress.com thoughtsappear

    This post cracked me up!

  • http://mollysaid.wordpress.com Molly

    Hilarious.

    Luckily, I'm so god damned lovable, I think that I'm safe.

    OK. Not really.

  • http://impassionedplatypi.wordpress.com impassionedplatypi

    @Tim- No, you didn't say that was the only way, you just very heavily implied it with your incredibly sarcastic and condescending comment aimed toward him. I didn't ignore it because I enjoy pointing out hypocrisy. If you had just said, "Someguy, in my experience it's not crazy to believe in a religion. My own belief helped me kick an addiction to drugs and become a better person.", or something along those lines, I wouldn't have said anything. Instead, you decided to make your point in a way which was just as closed minded as his original comment.

  • http://unipod.wordpress.com GBHull

    I think I'm going to beat you up just for writing this blog.

  • http://www.gloriadelia.wordpress.com Gloriadelia

    You're funny! I chuckled warmly at first sentence on your "about" page — " And that's not a complete sentence, which shows how easy it is to become a writer. Whoo Hoo!" or something like that.

    And I'll look on Amazon for your "Comma Sense, Fun-damentals of Punctuation" book. I home school and can use all the help I can get to teach that stuff to my son. :)

    Smiling in the Midwest,

    Gloris

  • Linda Chimienti

    Seems to me that there'll be two one-lane highways leading to heaven. The girl's lane leads to the choir/harp section. The boys lane goes straight to the heavenly slug-fest. And a good time will be had by all.

    Jennifer: Get back in the girl's lane.

    • denver

      As long as the choir/harp section gets to sit in the bleachers and watch the slugfest. :D

  • http://wildwildsea8.wordpress.com wildwildsea8

    Reminds me of the book "The Five People you meet in heaven." This is a fun writing prompt.. maybe I'll blog it sometime, too!

  • http://dontworryitskosher.wordpress.com dontworryitskosher

    I kinda dig Master Han (even though I hate taekwondo…) – I've got a sensei like that…

  • http://zoey18.wordpress.com alice

    I love it! Makes me want to make my own heaven beatdown list! Hahahaha!!!

  • http://thezozone.wordpress.com/ Lorenzo Rodriguez

    This is a very clever take on Mitch Albom's book.

    I don't know who are the 5 people I will meet in Heaven (if I go as well, my chances get slimmer and slimmer each day), but I hope I'm not met with an immediate haymayker on the nose to make-up for my lesser offenses in life – that would bite. Would you even feel a punch in Heaven?

  • http://glakia.wordpress.com Lakia

    LOL to Abe Lincoln

  • http://maxboyd.wordpress.com Max

    Just happened upon your blog and just wanted to say, hey great post! You’ve got a great sense of humor and great imagination. Funny topic – keep it up!

    Max

  • hideawaywithme

    Your post really made me laugh. I love your comical take on getting into heaven.

  • Heather

    Very funny!!! I love, love, love the premise. Now, I guess I have to think about who’s going to beat me up if I get to heaven. :)

  • conradvisionquest

    this is my new favorite blog.

  • http://autumn1976.wordpress.com skillets

    Great post John…checked out some of your other posts and added you to my roll =)

  • http://kevinuehara.wordpress.com Kevin Uehara

    That templar picture is ridiculously epic. Funny stuff.

  • Lori Schmidt Lutze

    Good laughs—hope you make it out of Heaven alive…………..xo

  • http://torithy.wordpress.com Torithy

    I love the Mitch Albom book, but it def didn't give me a giggle like this did – and I just came off a long-ass shift at work. Anything that gets more than a yawn out of me right now, you know it's good! :)

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Hey, guys. Been out all day. Thanks so much for the love here. Great comments. Though at this point of course I can't answer each one, I've certainly read each one, and very much appreciate what you guys have here taken the time to say.

  • vladsprincipality

    I would have a long list, for I have sent thousands there. Fortunately I ruled myself out of going to heaven to avoid getting my ass kicked by a bunch of angry impaled assholes.

  • Pingback: heaven beatdown list « a day in the life of zoey

  • http://www.thebestcarseats.com oasis

    A good post. Continue to read more news post.

  • Ingamae

    Ohhhh dude you totally need to go on a trip to Heaven cuz your description is hilarious but unlikely in Heaven. I think that all of those 5 people would go up to you and give you the biggest hug ever and then give you a gift that you didn’t even know you desired but would be more than you ever desired. My friend Judy Franklin goes to Heaven all the time and she even takes people on trips there in the spirit—There is speaking of hers called “Heaven Can’t Wait.” (http://www.ibethel.org/store/p2457/HeavenCan2339tWait/product_info.html) it is worth the listen if you have an extra $4.00. Additionally, I think you actually have a gift for playing music(not the harp) and will be playing music in Heaven when you go for eternity…..This was a divine appointed blog comment because I don’t even ever go on wordpress but have been feeling compelled to start a blog and I saw your post…LOL! I used to think that I would be floating around in Heaven on a cloud as well……that was until I heard the stories of people that have gone up to Heaven and then back to earth again..sooooo good!!! If you can stomach it you should watch this man Jesse Duplantis Encounters of the God Kinds experience! It jacked me up!!!! (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5112255142824133974#) Keep up the great writing on your blog! It rocks dot com!!!

  • http://thefrogjournal.wordpress.com Asian Butterfly

    your writing is fascinating, funny and inspiring. :)

  • http://thefrogjournal.wordpress.com Asian Butterfly

    your writing is fascinating, funny and inspiring. :) :)

  • http://soiledwings.com Sherry Meneley

    Leave it to wordpress to find me a knew blog that fits my sense of style: SNARKISM and WIT. Great post – thanks John!

  • http://dorkarama.wordpress.com dorkarama

    I think your best bet is to try to turn them all against each – tell Honest Abe that Master Han said he looks like a chimney stack in that hat. Then sit back and let the dominos fall…

  • Shaz

    hahaha "harps have wires!" Good on you for helping out Bob!

  • http://theslamdunktrove.blogspot.com Slamdunk

    Very funny. I remember Honest Abe being a big guy who knew how to punch–ouch for you.

  • 1anvil4u

    LMFAO, Seeing as gods, rules, don't seem to apply down here, I can't see or think of one good reason why they would apply in heaven iether. I am so amused by your intolerence for the same type of people that I too have gone toe to toe with in my life, although I don't think I had as much success as you seem to have had. Funny funny funny, A mesage too all those abusers out there, we are here and we are not going any place your not going too, so keep messing with people places and things you have no buiness, messing with, and "I'll meet you in the next world, don't be late" (Jimy H.) I just have to take a breath here lol. I do believe that the bone heads that I've rattled, didn't learn anything from my instruction, in how to put down a sic dawg with speed and mass. dysfunctional people have a way of makeing excuses for there abuses, how sad for all of us to have to deal with them. Being passive just encurages them more, and going toe to toe with them, does little more but man It makes people feel good to know some is watching out for them. STILL LMAO

  • http://www.LouisianaDanceLA.com Karen

    Very funny! I especially enjoyed the description of Lincoln. Laughed out loud on that one. Wish I could write like this. Loved the photo too.

  • http://jmvacting.wordpress.com Jose

    Oh my goodness! This blog is hilarious! I am new to the blogging community and I pleased to meet the likes of you John. I will follow your blog…especially on those difficult days when its hard to laugh. Because even though you’ve been “trying God’s patience” for a while. You certainly are reminding me of His most practical remedy to life’s troubles: humor. I’m afraid I have my few that might beat me up as well….this was so enjoyable.

    Thanks John. I’ll be around.

  • http://t tgg

    tg

  • http://www.trondstromlie.com Trond Strom Lie

    haha very funny, can't stop laughing

  • Izzie

    Hilarious! I LOVE your perspective! Write on!

  • http://compact-treadmill.com compact treadmill

    Awesome! I think there is an ex- nun who is going to beat me up!

  • http://coopernicus.wordpress.com cooper

    Timely post…i am at a juncture in my life where I am taking stock. In looking back at the cretins that wailed on me in my youth I realize what a smacking around I took. Now I have to flip it around and see who will be waiting for me in heaven (BIG assumption here) with a two by four…

  • Kathleen Jones

    I have no doubt that God himself will smack me up the side of my head when I get there..

    Cause I have been giving him a pretty hard time. Very funny – Loved the Lincoln thing.

  • http://kenreads.wordpress.com wken

    Wait … you made the clothesline thing work?

    You were easily the coolest kid ever! Every single bullied boy in the country wishes he could pull that one off.

    I bow to your superior tactics.

  • http://alzheimersisnotwaiting.com Herkimer

    Thanks for posting this; just found your blog searching around. Keep up the good work!

  • Pingback: If You Wanna Get to Heaven….. « Cat's LOL

  • http://SeekingHimLivingByFaith.blogspot.com Jerri Harrington

    As the mother of four sons and the grandmother to a grandson, and after knowing my husband and his twin brother, for 38 years, AND after reading your post I can only wonder how there are any adult men in the world at any given time. Btw, my youngest son, when he was 16 years old, ran into a barbed wire fence while riding an ATV at a slow speed and nearly was killed. This is one of many reasons my hair is white underneath the blonde!

  • yesica

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